School Board Approves New Administrators

The Okaloosa County School Board approved the following new administrators at the May 28, 2019, School Board Meeting: Kathy Anderson, Edge Elementary School Assistant Principal; Robert McElroy, Meigs Middle School Assistant Principal; and Mandy Lopez, Walker Elementary School Assistant Principal.

Kathy Anderson – Edge Elementary Assistant Principal

Kathy Anderson - Edge ES AP

Kathy Anderson is a proud product of the Okaloosa County School District, attending Ruckel Middle School and graduating from Niceville High School. After her graduation, she attended Okaloosa-Walton Junior College and then received a degree in Business from Florida State University. Kathy knew her true calling was education and received her certification to teach through the University of West Florida (UWF). She continued her education at UWF where she received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Beginning her career by completing her student teaching experience at Plew Elementary School, 31 years ago, Kathy taught first, second, third, and fifth grades, Project Child, and she was a National Board Certified Teacher as well. Kathy also served as an adjunct professor at Northwest Florida State College, mentoring students who were deciding whether a career in education was for them or not. This experience continued as she served as a mentor teacher to new teachers as well as struggling teachers and was certified as a peer evaluator. She has served on SAC and School Improvement Committees, and has extensive training in many aspects of technology and was certified as a digital educator. Anderson is greatly appreciative of the many administrators who have mentored her along this path leading to serving in administration, including Dr. Lamar White, Dr. Shelly Arneson, and especially Carolyn McAllister.

Anderson has a 22-year-old daughter who couldn’t be with her tonight because she is in the midst of a busy exam week at the University of Central Florida where is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology.

Kathy is incredibly excited to become an Edge Tiger and is so appreciative to those who have already reached out to welcome her. She is honored to be learning under Dr. Dawson’s proven powerful leadership and looks forward to learning so much under her wing. She can’t wait to meet the wonderful faculty, staff, students, and parents at Edge as she transitions. Her Plew Panther family will always hold a special place in her heart.

Robert McElroy, Jr. – Meigs Middle School Assistant Principal

Robert McElroy, Jr. – Meigs Middle School Assistant Principal

Robert McElroy, Jr. is a proud product of the Okaloosa County School District, he attended Plew Elementary, Ruckel Junior High School, and Niceville Senior High School. Upon graduating from High School Robert enlisted and served our country in the United States Navy from 1989-1993. After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1993, he attended and obtained his Associates of Arts from Okaloosa Walton Community College. He then attended the University of Florida where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Science. McElroy was accepted into the Pro-Teach Program at the University of Florida and received his Masters of Education in Social Studies in 1999.

McElroy started his career in public education with Okaloosa County in 2000 where he taught social studies to the students of Bruner Middle School, Lewis Middle School, and Fort Walton Beach High School. While still teaching at Fort Walton Beach High School, he made the decision to obtain his Master Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida. In 2019, he joined Baker School as the Dean of Students.

Robert is married to Lauren, and they have two children, Bobby and Katie Jo, that are also students in the Okaloosa County School District.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed the Assistant Principal of Meigs Middle School, and I am looking forward to working with the excellent faculty and staff,” said McElroy.

Mandy Lopez – Walker Elementary Assistant Principal

Mandy Lopez – Walker Elementary Assistant Principal

Mandy Lopez is originally from Leland, North Carolina. She graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education, and then moved to Fayetteville, NC to teach in the Cumberland County School System. She spent four years teaching there, during which time her husband was completing the Army Special Forces Qualifications Course.

Lopez's family moved to Okaloosa County in 2013 on military orders. She began teaching at Edge Elementary School and shortly thereafter began working to complete her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida. After 4 years of being an Edge Tiger, she served as a district English Language Arts Instructional Coach for two years, supporting curriculum and instruction needs and presenting professional development to the teachers of Walker Elementary School. Through these years of coaching, she learned the value of collaboration within a professional learning environment in order to meet collective goals.

Mandy is a proud military wife and enjoys spending family time with her husband Kevin and daughter Lilly. She is extremely excited to continue her time at Walker, serving the students and staff in a different capacity, all while growing as an educational leader. She is appreciative of the support she's received and feels honored to be recommended as the Assistant Principal of Walker Elementary School.